Exhibit focuses on deep space
An exhibit of "deep space" 2D photographic images and three "deep space" 3D stone sculptures is on exhibit at the New Milford Public Library through Sept. 19.
The unique exhibit at the Main Street library features stone sculptures by resident Ray Crawford and photos by March Polansky, volunteer technical team leader for the John J. McCarthy Observatory in town.
Crawford said, as far as he knows, he is the only artist that carves 3D stone sculptures of real deep space objects, and no one has displayed 2D photographs and 3D stone sculptures together of the same deep space objects.
The collection of colorful and detailed 2D photo images depicts a real variety of objects such as star nurseries, giant spiral galaxies, planetary nebulae, and interacting galaxies tearing each other apart.
Crawford's sculptures are his interpretation of unique objects in the sky.
He is a retired engineer and a former Green Beret who has become a sculptor, painter, photographer, writer, poet and an amateur astronomer.
Polansky, a chief referee for the U.S. and International Robotic competitions, brings his skills from a career in advanced technology systems to enhance the technical capabilities of the observatory.
Each photograph included in the show represents hours of exposure with special cameras and filters, followed by many hours working in a digital laboratory.
The photographs were taken with either the 16-inch (0.4 meter) Ellen Knowles Harcourt reflecting telescope or its companion 4-inch (106 mm) refracting telescope at the observatory.
The telescopes were installed in 2000 and have been the workhorses for a variety of student independent study projects and general public viewing.
The observatory, located on the grounds of New Milford High School, is a public facility serving students and community members in all of Western Connecticut.
It was designed and built by volunteers, and is also operated by volunteers and funded by public donations.